Syria church growing as Christian leaders risk lives amid ISIS persecution — pastor

A Christian man fixes a picture of Jesus Christ on the wall of his damaged house near the city of Ras al-Ain, Syria. Christianity is growing in Syria despite targeted attacks, says Tom Doyle, a pastor who co-heads a church-planting ministry.Reuters

While Christians have been targeted for their faith in Syria, a pastor who now co-heads a church-planting ministry said it is important to know that the Church is not losing the fight.

Tom Doyle, who pastored churches in Colorado and Texas before becoming the vice president and Middle East director for global ministry e3 Partners, emphasised that the Church is growing despite the persecution of Christians, CBN reported.

Hundreds of Christians are feared to have been kidnapped by the Islamic State in central Syria.

Reports show that about 230 Christians were reported missing after fighting erupted near their villages last week.

According to a bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon, over 15,000 Assyrian Christian families remaining in Syria are at risk from the continuing crisis, Sputnik News wrote.

Despite these threats to Christians, there are still many who are brave enough to spread God's word and invite followers into the Church.

Doyle wrote in his book "Killing Christians" that a team of about 10 church planters in Syria were allowed to choose between leaving the country or continue risking their lives to spread the Gospel.

The 10 church planters not only decided to stay in Syria but recruited 15 others Christian church leaders as well. "We're ready to stay, we're ready to suffer, we ready to die here in Syria for Jesus," they said.

"And to seal this commitment they went out and bought a plot of land so they can bury each other when they die as martyrs," Doyle said.

The pastor said the team continues to send reports about the spread of Christianity in Syria as people join the Church.

And the graveyard is still empty.